3 Reasons to Include 'EMOM' in Your Workouts

Learn how to do "Every Minute on the Minute"—aka EMOM—and get some sample workouts.

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #255

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a training protocol called EMOM. And no, EMOM is not some kind of fancy, newfangled electronic mothering service. It’s simply an acronym for the phrase “Every Minute on the Minute,” which is a style of training in which you complete a specific set of movements or exercises every minute, then you rest until the end of the minute, starting again at the top of the next minute. If your goal is to develop cardiovascular or muscular endurance, and to squeeze as much structured work as possible into as little time as possible, then EMOM training is a great strategy to know and use.

In this article, you’ll learn how to do EMOM, get some sample EMOM workouts, and learn about three different reasons you should include EMOM in your workout routine.

How to Do EMOM

Typically, because it is so physically demanding, an EMOM workout will last from 10-30 minutes in length and is performed with a somewhat heavy weight that only allows you to complete three to five reps per minute. So, for example, for a 10-minute EMOM workout, you would do 10 rounds of five reps of a movement such as a barbell squat. If the amount of time that it takes you to do five reps is 45 seconds, then that gives you 15 seconds of rest before the top of the minute, at which point you would begin the next set.

You can also do EMOM training using a cardiovascular-based exercise. This is a practice that has been used among swimmers for a long time (e.g., swim 50 meters, leaving every 60 seconds), but can also be used for rowing sets (e.g., row 100 meters as hard as possible, starting a new 100 meter set every 60 seconds) or running (e.g., run 200 meters on a track as fast as possible, then recover to 60 second mark).

Here are a few other examples of EMOM training:

-10 burpees per minute for 15 minutes

-5 pull ups or pull downs per minute for 20 minutes

-3 push ups + 2 pull ups + 3 body weight squats per minute for 30 minutes (yes, you can use a combination of different moves!)

-5 deadlifts using 1.5x your body weight per minute for 10 minutes

-8 alternating jump lunges per minute for 10 minutes

If your goal is to develop cardiovascular endurance, you should (as you can probably guess) use exercises or modes of exercise that involve body weight, lower weights and more repetitions. But if your focus is muscular endurance, then you should use lower reps and heavier weights, choosing exercises such as squats and deadlifts. Generally, if you’re just getting started with EMOM, you should start with easier exercises, a lower number of reps or less weight than you think you can handle, because (just like a Tabata set), the father you get into the workout, the more tired you will become and the more difficult it will be to maintain good form.


About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.

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